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Um. There’s a few things you should know about me. Don’t worry, I’ll keep this particular list short [though I could go on and on]. Here’s two:

1. I love anything ridiculously huge or inconveniently small.
2. I pretty much ADORE anything monogrammed. I plan all my weddings around my couples. Their style. Their names. Their initials. Their hearts. Their monograms!

So when I saw this in my google reader [aka "the googs" as I call it], I nearly called it quits in my day. Sometimes you just gotta throw up your hands and surrender. Realize that someone else has WON the battle. Because they did it first. And I respect it endlessly. Are you dying yet?? Well, here you go:

Oooooooohmygoodness with the oversized deliciousness that ARE these letters. I cannot stand them. I literally had to sit for them. Literally! Hoping to re-invent the wheel with my monograms in the way this couple did, just in the same way Simply Bloom Photography captured it.

Thanks to Leila and the gals over at Be Inspired PR for this lovely gem. I’m a more creative person today because of it!

Lovely Friday, y’all! Another weekend is on the cusp, another month is well on it’s way to us… and another day to love one another fully is in our midst! If that doesn’t deserve a YAY I don’t know what does!

xoxo,

I’ll admit it- when the idea of a “Sleeping Beauty” styled shoot was tossed around by Kristin, I quaked in my boots a bit. I couldn’t think of anything [instantly, because that's how I work... I'm very instant] that wasn’t Disney, flitty, fluttery, cheese-ball. And then it hit me: classic. Sewing. 1940’s. With a bed. Because, well, that’s how I roll. I’m grateful to Bethany Belle for capturing it all so beautifully. And thanks to K+D for, you know, being in love and stuff.

Yep. That’s a skort. A skort y’all.

Bed: check! Fun jumping-off-of-bed-picture: check! Classic Sleeping Beauty picture with bed: check!!!

Cute and fun.

Outfit change!!

Yep. Breakfast picnic. SO deeply into it. Cannot even handle it. And the hat?!?

Sleeping Beauty. Get it- breakfast buffet?? This also ties into the fact that Dustin proposed to Kristin by waking her up [at, like, 5am]- awaking his “sleeping beauty”. And then, breakfast. Because it’s soo 2010 to eat the most important meal of the day. In a grassy knoll. With a custom blue and pink quilt [hello, had to tie in that classic movie somehow- color scheme much??]!

And then there’s music. Because they sing- about their dreaming, about their prince. And stuff. And Dustin plays guitar so it happens.

Don’t forget sewing. She pricks her finger on a spindle. And sleeps [like a lot]. But the horses- they’re by FAR my fave. Cause that’s how he finds her!

Thanks SO much Bethany for the abundant beauty you’ve provided. Love the feel of this shoot- so glad I got to come on board and help flesh it out!! There’s plenty more, dear lovelies, over on her blog so don’t miss your chance to see it! And K+D- you know, I think you’re too fabu for words. Get married already!!

xoxo,

Sneak Peek: Steph + Tom

POSTED BY Amanda

As if my week could get any better! HONESTLY. I have the best, most gracious, faithful, encouraging clients in the world. I believe it to my core. They are so passionately for me, and I’m endlessly thankful. And now this… this beautiful, amazingly inspiring CD sitting before me, bursting with gorgeously taken photos from the likes of Trever Hoehne. Now- I can’t show you many of them. They will remain to be seen at a later time. But I have to show you a few. Just a few of my favorites- because I know Tom and Steph. I love Tom and Steph. And these photos leave me breathless.

The wordlessly beautiful Stephanie. I realize it may be an odd- almost eerie- picture to post but I think it’s captured so lovely and so perfect. Plus, I’m all about the slightly odd, semi-macabre wedding photos.

LOVE this:

And this [again with the odd and unusual] may be my ultimate fave:

Lastly, a very important one… for the road!

Love my job, love my love… LOVE my job! Their ever-so-detailed and fun French inspired wedding and reception will be in it’s full glory soon enough. Until then, soak it in [all the love and awe of childhood] like a sponge.

xoxo,

A.

Like, super delicious. Not the apple- the cake. Check it:

I actually found this last week, considered it for last week… and went back to it. Because I cannot get it out of my mind. Sorry, guys- maybe I’m hungry when I blog! What of it?! Either way, that cake’s clumpy, chunky, rustic gold frosting is calling my name and owning me all at once.

And for that, I thank 100 Layer Cake and all that they are.

Happy weekend! YAY that it’s another Friday already.

xoxo,

Okay, okay… I’ll admit it. In some ways, each wedding I work is my “favorite of the year”. This is because I’m highly affected by my environment. I’m an “instant” type of person. I soak in each day as if there was none before or after. And I live for love so honestly and so ferociously. But this wedding will stick with me. I only got the chance to meet Victoria a few times [as she's a fashion designer based in Toyko], but from the moment I met her I felt it. Radiating joy. A smile throughout her whole presence. An awe for love. A passion for life. And a sweetness that is simply incomparable. I love her for that breath of freshness which stays with me still. My good friend and photographer Wayne Toshikazu [now a Portland transplant] referred Victoria to me only a month before her wedding. But it wasn’t until she flew into town, about 1.5 weeks out, that we met. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Yes, she made her dress. Yes, she made her bridesmaid dresses. She also made her rehearsal dinner attire as well as her “morning after” brunch dress. And her table overlays. She’s more than “kinda” amazing- am I right? Her classic beauty and unique magnetic personality allow me only to reference Miss Audrey Hepburn as her closest kindred spirit.

Michael is Victoria’s perfect balance. Calm, collected, and strong. He grounds her and you can just see in the way they are together… everything about them is complimentary. They’re head-over-heels for one another.

The image below on the right should be framed. It’s timeless and classy just like V.

And of course- Michael looking so regal himself. Easy to do at an inspiring venue such as The Langham Huntington Hotel.

Everything about this wedding was deeply personal and symbolic. Like how they wed in the Japanese Garden, because they met in Japan. They even brought in a gospel singer to treat the crowd and rejoice with them to tunes such as Amazing Grace and Oh Happy Day.

I forgot to mention that Victoria is British. I 100% adore her mother’s amazingly British sense of style, and that fabulous hat. You can see where she got her fire for fashion!

The MOMENT after the kiss, when the music came on, Victoria immediately started to sing and shimmy her way back up the aisle with her husband. It’s a memory that I have engrained in my mind. She oozes joy and purity on a regular basis, and to see her so excited was something everyone got to truly experience with her.

When meeting with Victoria and describing her wedding, I was thrilled as she threw around words like “classic”, “traditional”, “bridal”, “timeless”, and “romantic”. It’s unfortunate that we don’t see more weddings like this right now [they'll come back around for sure], but everything she said was totally encompassed in her dress. She loves bows. And so, bows we did. Everywhere. And you know what- tulle, in it’s proper setting, has never looked so good.

Anyone who has visited the Langham knows that the ballrooms are incredibly detailed and gorgeous. For this style of event, they became the perfect backdrop. Her entire feel and style were centered around the gold detailing and lush, warm tones of the room’s walls, ceiling, and decor. It’s like her wedding was made, born, and raised in that room. And it fit together perfectly.

After the ceremony, receiving line [LOVE it] and formal portraits… V and M ran upstairs for a quick dress change. She wore Oscar, touting him as the “only man she’d ever loved”. And he fit her oh-so-well. Her dancing dress was impeccably detailed!

Victoria was the epitome of bridal style, grace, and class. Her sweetness and tenderness truly knows no end, and I’m thankful to have had her in my life for any amount of time!

The vendor lineup:

Venue: The Langham Huntington Hotel and a special thanks to Chelsea Rowe for being SO incredibly awesome. Team work!!
Photographer: Wayne Toshikazu
DJ: DJ Amara [rolled with the punches and knocked it outta the park!]
Event Coordination: In The Now Weddings + Events + Awesomeness + Prettifyers
Chiavari Rentals: Chiavari Chairs 4 Rent [total amazingness personified, and chair-ified]
Floral Design: Victoria and Lori, friend of the Bride and Groom
Pastor and Gospel Singer: Friends of the Groom
Table Overlays: The bride

Such fun, such fun we had! Let your heart lead you today in a way that’s almost naively graceful. It’ll leave an impact on some sure to last a lifetime!

xoxo,

Newlies: Elena + Nathan

POSTED BY Amanda

This was my first time working with Dave Richards and his cute-as-a-button wife Sandy, but I’m really hoping it won’t be my last. Just looking through the images he recently blogged of Elena and Nathan have brought back a flood of memories from their seamlessly stress-free, gorgeous day. I’m thrilled to gush to you some of their perfect images!!

Radiant bride…. check!

Handsome groom…. check!

Killer cohesive bridal party…. check!

Ridiculously pretty church… check! And then, there’s love.

Lots and lots of love.

And a great reception locale like The Ebell Club, Long Beach doesn’t hurt either!

The decadent arrangements from Flower Allie add the perfect POP to this fun color scheme of navy and orange. And here’s a designer’s inside tip: when working in a candle-lit, romantic environment, go a shade lighter with your linen. In the light of day, you may not understand- but in the deep, dark colors of your reception, that extra “lift” of color will make all the difference. Keeping with Spanish feel, we used La Tavola’s dupionique in royal [a cobalt blue tone, much like the Spanish tiles we used as escort cards] to ensure the colors didn’t get lost in the evening light. It was the perfect impact!

Isn’t it always the “little” things that get you?? Elena chose for us to do a “detail wrap up and decor budget” for her. It’s one of our most popular additions these days and can be added to any of our services. For Elena and Nathan, we took the liberty of implementing several tiny decor elements to really impact her day. We upgraded linens and napkins, added a lace knot napkin wrap, detailed the bride and groom chairs [with lace tails and signage], created menu cards for their buffet, concepted and created their escort card tiles with alternating blue/orange colors, wrapped candles in custom lace, created wedding programs, and designed/assembled 20 welcome baskets [complete with custom timeline, logo/artwork, and packaging for her guests]. WHEW. All in 2 weeks time. If THAT’s not bang-for-your-buck, I don’t know what is!

Just a suggestion, but if you skip on over to Dave’s site, there’s more where this came from. He’s a great blogger [in example: timely, generous with images that are generously sized, and credits all of his vendors]. I love this in a photographer. I love this in ANY vendor. I’m on his side.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this wedding come together! I got to work with Elena and Nathan from the get-go, so here’s a shout out to our all-star cast of characters:

Ceremony: Wayfarer’s Chapel
Reception: Ebell Club Long Beach
Photographer: Dave Richards
Event Design and Planning: In The Now
Florist: Flower Allie
DJ: John Suarez, After Dark Entertainment
Napkin Rentals: Signature Party
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen
Catering: Jay’s Catering
Custom Graphics: Kristen [Graphical Intern], In The Now
Vinyl Escort Card Logos: Creative Media Print
Hair/Makeup: Artistry By Briana

Holla! Look at that list. It’s what I love to see. :) So sad it’s over… so happy they’re married. It’s the bittersweet small moments in life that keep me pushing forward. Hoping you find some JOY in today, tomorrow, and your ‘forever’.

xoxo,

Friday Lovely: Cakes.

POSTED BY Amanda

Thank you, 100 Layer Cake, for your awesome eyes and keen sense to post these GORGEOUS cakes from Magpie’s Cake. Hello, perfect balance of romance and modern structure! You are OH-so-lovely to me on this Friday.

Have an illuminating type of day- in any sense of the word!

xoxo,

I styled a cute, 1940’s style “Sleeping Beauty” engagement session a few weeks back and here’s a preview.

Yes, I know. It doesn’t look so vintage here. It also doesn’t look so Sleeping Beauty. But it’s not like me to be all theme and no quirk. And thus, the quirk attack. LOVE these cute little signs I whipped up the morning-of. Shouldn’t everyone be holding these, ALL THE TIME??
More [vintage-y, sleep-y] to come on this one from Bethany Belle Photography!

xoxo,

A.

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